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Feb 26, 2024 Book Review
An idea-packed guide for scientists teaching communication skills

by Andy Ridgway

“Teaching Science Students to Communicate: A Practical Guide” is aimed at scientists who want to teach science students transferrable communication skills. It starts with a rallying cry and is filled with creative ideas for teaching sessions with top tips on how to run them effectively. Above all, this book should help scientists instil a disposition in their students that should underpin any act of communication — empathy.

Volume 23 • Issue 01 • 2024

Feb 21, 2024 Book Review
Bridging the gap between science deniers and voice of reason

by Karolína Poliaková

In the 2021 book “How to Talk to a Science Denier: Conversations with Flat Earthers, Climate Deniers, and Others Who Defy Reason”, Lee McIntyre introduces different anti-science movements and their reasoning. Based on personal interactions with committed science deniers and literature from various disciplines including cognitive psychology, he argues that all these communities use the same playbook in terms of reasoning about evidence, argumentation, demands on scientific certainty and recruitment of new members. Such observations allow McIntyre to propose a universal strategy to combat these beliefs by using respectful in-person engagement and effective science communication tools. His argument is rooted in the idea that anti-science beliefs are built on identities, not on the content of specific beliefs.

Volume 23 • Issue 01 • 2024

Oct 16, 2023 Book Review
Visualising science: a thorough guide for designing and using science graphics

by Marnell Kirsten

`Building Science Graphics' guides scientists and science communicators on how their communication of science knowledge can benefit from the visual aid of science graphics. This can be an intimidating task to someone unfamiliar with visual design, but the book demystifies this entire process, giving a simple and straightforward account of a complex topic.

Volume 22 • Issue 05 • 2023

Feb 27, 2023 Book Review
A Challenge for Media and Communication Studies: the Covid-19 Pandemic

by Rod Lamberts

Katarzyna Kopecka-Piech and Bartłomiej Łódzki’s edited volume, The Covid-19 Pandemic as a Challenge for Media and Communication Studies, could be of great utility to science communication scholars and teachers. The studies with contained within it address two overarching research questions. First, how have media and communication reality changed during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe? Second, how were media and communication studied effectively through that period? The volume features 17 individual studies calling on myriad methods and case examples. This diversity of approaches allows the editors to also address an important, implicit third question. In essence: what has it been like to conduct worthwhile, meaningful, and robust research under such unusual and extreme global circumstances? Each chapter is thorough, detailed and of a high technical standard. This is a book that would likely best serve experienced readers more than novices. The entire compendium bears clear witness to the dynamic nature of social research playing out against a context of enormous global instability.

Volume 22 • Issue 01 • 2023

Feb 13, 2023 Book Review
Science & theatre: communication, concepts, contexts, and cases

by Kristian H. Nielsen

With its attention to empirical detail and theoretical analysis, the book is an important contribution to the field of science-and-theatre studies. The reader will not only gain insight into the many ways in which science and theatre have been combined, but also become familiar with best practices and interesting cases. The book depicts science-and-theatre as a diverse and vibrant field. Framed as a study in communicating science and technology with the performing arts, the book will serve as a source of inspiration for science communicators and science communication researchers.

Volume 22 • Issue 01 • 2023

Jan 30, 2023 Book Review
Handy guide and passionate call to engage

by Cissi Askwall

Andrew J. Hoffman, Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan, has written “The Engaged Scholar — Expanding the Impact of Academic Research in Today's World” (2021 Stanford University Press). According to the author, most researchers want to make a difference, but academic institutions often do not value public engagement, leading to disengaged scientists. Hoffman gives and reexamines arguments for why scholars should engage with other parts of society. He conveys several tips on how to do it and encourages researchers to take part in public debate. The limitations of the current evaluation system are also scrutinized, and new measures of impact discussed. The book is worth reading for academic leaders and researchers, as well as science communicators and science journalists.

Volume 22 • Issue 01 • 2023

Dec 21, 2022 Book Review
Science communicaton and rhetorics — a review of `Recontextualized Knowledge. Rhetoric – Situation – Science Communication'

by Annette Leßmöllmann and Monika Hanauska

In their anthology, Olaf Kramer and Markus Gottschling demonstrate that a closer look at rhetoric as both the technique and the analytical tool concerned with persuasion can open up new perspectives on science communication for communication scientists as well as for practitioners.

Volume 21 • Issue 07 • 2022

Dec 14, 2022 Book Review
Put to the test: science communication in crisis situations

by Lars Guenther

Risk and crisis situations can put science communication to the test, but systematic approaches to science communication in relation to crisis communication are still missing. “Science communication in times of crisis”, edited by Pascal Hohaus and published in 2022, is about this relationship. The book review provides an overview, a summary, and a short criticism of this edited volume. As will be outlined, while the book is a valuable contribution to the field, its overall aims could have been more strongly tied together.

Volume 21 • Issue 07 • 2022

Nov 16, 2022 Book Review
Balancing practice and research: a framework for strategic science communication

by Sara K. Yeo

In ‘Strategic Science Communication: A Guide to Setting the Right Objectives for More Effective Public Engagement’, authors John Besley and Anthony Dudo recognize the existing divide between practice and research in science communication and work to bridge this gap. The authors admirably balance actionable information for practitioners and the theoretical literatures underpinning them. Both of the book’s intended audiences, practitioners and researchers, can glean informative insight from its pages. The text focuses on 12 communication objectives that research suggests are at the core of effective science communication and each chapter is written using straightforward language that makes the book accessible for newcomers to the discipline. For the time-pressed science communication practitioner, each chapter includes a summary with driving questions that relate to implementation of the tactic covered in that chapter. For scholars in science communication, the chapters are good starting points for deeper examination of the related literature. Throughout the book, the authors acknowledge that the strategic communication of science is a significant challenge, one that is not to be taken lightly and can, and should, be evidence-based.

Volume 21 • Issue 07 • 2022

Oct 03, 2022 Book Review
A poetic approach to science communication

by Emma Weitkamp

‘Science Communication Through Poetry’, by Sam Illingworth offers a practical guide for the aspiring science communication poet or those interested in working with poetry as a research tool or public engagement method.

Volume 21 • Issue 06 • 2022